While mom is at home taking care of the newborn, dad gets to do the shopping. And of course, mom wants dad to shop like she does, with all of those coupons. You see, mom is one of those coupon mavens.
My trip takes me to Target in Allen, TX. Not the one by McDermott & US75, but the Super Target in The Villages at Allen. All is well, as I have my handful of coupons, and a determination to stay the course. The coupons are manufacturer coupons and Target coupons, all printed online.
Target special on Magnum Ice Cream, Fruttare Novelty, Barilla Pasta, and Jenny O ground turkey. I’m on a mission.
I have successfully navigated the grocery section, gotten all of my specials, and picked up the milk needed that wasn’t on special. Now all I have to do is pay and get out. When all of the items are scanned, I owe $46+. No problem. I’ve got coupons. Barilla scans… no problem. Jenny O scans… no problem… Magnum Ice Cream is going along quite well until…. LIMIT REACHED (4). I’m not sure what the training protocol is for Target cashiers when this problem occurs, but apparently that lesson goes something like this: “When the register screen indicates the limit of coupon use has been reached, tell the customer sorry, and stare blankly at them. This will prompt them to reply ‘Oh, okay. Here’s my money.'” One problem with that training, they didn’t count on me. Yes, I understand that Target has a coupon limit policy. I understand it’s purpose. I think the purpose is for me to leave the premises, return and do my coupon transactions again. Since I didn’t react the way the cashier expected, she began to explain the coupon policy. After she realized I wasn’t accepting her explanation, she decided to call the Manager On Duty (MOD.)
He’s a rather tired looking chap, understandably flustered with having to work on July 4, and appeared he could have used a break. Instead, he got to deal with an equally frustrated old-man-new-father who was determined to get his $3.00 worth of coupons processed. MOD took a look at my purchases, the stack of coupons that had already been processed and the two that remained in my clenches. He dutifully scanned the first one and immediately got the LIMIT REACHED (4). He explained that Target has a policy of only using 4 of the same coupons in a transaction. I probably gave him a blank stare as I waited for the light bulb to come on and for him to come up with a solution. After a good 10-15 second pause (that’s a long time in check-out lane time) I asked if he had any solution. Now it was his turn to give me the ‘deer-and-headlights’ look. Seeing no solution being proffered, I suggested a second transaction. MOD balked at this suggestion and since I was already on short fuse, I offered an alternative suggestion indicating that I questioned if Target training included suggesting the customer exit the premises and return to start a separate transaction that would circumvent the LIMIT REACHED (4) error. MOD relented, He had previously stated that he had no over-ride for the error, yet he suddenly remembered that he could just enter the two coupons as discounts, apparently. As he is clicking away on the register, he reminded me how he was going out of his way to accommodate me. I quickly corrected his presumption by reviewing that all suggestions of alternative solutions were presented by me; not by him. With that, a terse silence engulfed the check out lane.
No voices were raised during any of this transaction. I was happy to get my items and my complete discounts. My $46 ended up being $30.97. I will shop at Target again. I’m sure MOD doesn’t want to deal with me, because I did point out his short comings. At the same time, I’m sure I revealed my short comings to him.
I wonder if the manufacturers have a limit on the number of coupons Target can redeem with them?